On presidential firings

    President Obama's firing of Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki, transparently dressed up as a resignation under congressional pressure, seemed somehow out of character for a chief executive known for patience and dislike of wielding the knife.

    The retired Army general and Vietnam combat veteran had matched Obama's own style of cautious deliberation in coping with the VA scandal that left thousands of patients waiting interminable months for medical treatment, some even dying while they waited.

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